Two new services for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted have been welcomed by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping.
Speaking today he said: “It’s really important that all victims of sexual violence have the very best care and support, whether they wish to report the incident to the police or not. We have worked very hard to make sure that those affected by sexual violence can access the right help for them, easily and quickly, from experienced and sensitive professionals.”
The new service for adult victims and survivors in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire came into effect on 1st April, 2018. Commissioned jointly by the Police and Crime Commissioner and NHS England, the contract has been awarded to Mountain Healthcare Ltd, who also provide similar services in 12 other locations around England where they also support and pioneer forensic medical services for victims of sexual violence.
This three-year contract, worth in the region of £540k pa, will enable victims with free and confidential 24/7 access to a range of services including crisis support, forensic examinations and healthcare advice and intervention, all of which will be provided and co-ordinated by the same organisation, which offers clear and significant benefits to service users.
The Adult (18+) Service will continue to be delivered from the Topaz Centre (the Sexual Assault Referral Service or SARC), with a 24/7 free and confidential specialist service.
Mountain Healthcare has already established a brand new team of specialist Forensic Nurse Examiners who are dedicated to the service 24/7 and will join a team of already established Crisis Support Workers to provide a high quality and responsive service to adult victims and survivors. Further information about how to access the service can be found on their website www.topazcentre.org or by calling 0800 085 9993.
Paddy Tipping added: “I am confident that we have commissioned a top-quality service that will help people affected by sexual violence recover from their experience. As each element of the service is now provided by one organisation I believe this will make things less stressful for those using the service, while service delivery will be more streamlined.
“I should also thank Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (NSVSS) for the tremendous support services they have provided over the last six years. They have helped so many people in that time and I’m pleased that we continue to support their work.
Prior to this new contract, NSVSS managed the SARC and provided crisis support to young people and adults aged 13+ while forensic examinations were undertaken by a different organisation.
Victims and survivors aged under-18 will now benefit from a specialist service spanning the East Midlands. The five East Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners and NHS England have commissioned Nottingham University Hospitals Trust to deliver a new service which supports children and young people who have been, or are suspected of having been, subjected to sexual violence.
Services will be available from two specialist centres – in Nottingham and Northampton - which will provide access to services seven days a week, all year round.
Paddy Tipping explained that each of these centres will have paediatricians with high levels of expertise and specialist forensic training, as well as forensic medical examiners who are experienced in treating children and young people who have been subjected to sexual violence.
He added: “Young people accessing the service will be treated as individuals and offered the most appropriate help according to their own circumstances and personal choice.
“Importantly, we have placed great emphasis on the need to long-term support to help young people recover emotionally and physically, so that they can move forward with their lives positively. We also appreciate that it is not simply the victim who may need support, and therefore have ensured that other family members or carers can access help.”
It is recognised that not everyone wishes to report such incidents to the police so both services can be contacted directly if people wish. However, they will also receive referrals from the police, social workers and other support groups.
The service has been commissioned and is being led by NHS England on behalf of the PCC.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 18th April 2018